”The great feature of Locarno, however, is the Sacro Monte which rises above it” (Samuel Butler, 1881)
The Sanctuary of the Madonna del Sasso was founded, according to the sources, in 1480 following the apparition of the Virgin Mary in the place called ”al Sasso della Rocca” to the Franciscan monk Bartolomeo Piatti from Ivrea. In the years that followed, but particularly during the seventeenth century, the Sacro Monte was built along a climbing processional way symbolizing a purifying path that rises to the top of the rock. This is the site of the Sanctuary dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption, which conserves important artistic masterpieces, such as the Flight into Egypt by Bramantino and the The Entombment of Christ by Antonio Ciseri. The ascent can be made either by following the road up from the Valley or climbing the Way of the Cross, along which aediculas and chapels have been built that represent episodes in the life of Christ and the Virgin Mary, as in other prealpine sacred mounts. The complex, which was appropriated by the Swiss State in 1848, has since been looked after by the monks of the Capuchin Order.